Nunavut throat-boxer Nelson Tagoona wants to share positive vibes
"Work with yourself, view your life, look at the dynamics of your creativity."
If you missed seeing Baker Lake’s hip-hop artist and throat-boxer Nelson Tagoona at this summer’s Alianait music festival in Iqaluit, you’re in luck: Tagoona will perform again in Iqaluit Sept. 8 and Sept. 9, as part of the activities leading up to World Suicide Prevention Day on Sept. 10.
When the Embrace Life Council, which is organizing a weekend of suicide prevention and awareness events, first asked Tagoona, 18, to perform this past June in Iqaluit, he didn’t hesitate to say yes.
“Right on the spot, when it comes to healing and suicide prevention, I’m totally down,” said Tagoona who also suggested putting on a workshop as well.
His message to other youth: make the best of what you have.
“I try to connect, and I try to make it easier for people to accept their lives, I try to give them a vision of my life and how I view my issues from a darker perspective, [but] in an acceptable way,” he said.
This means acknowledging hard feelings, but focusing on what is going on today. He’d like to see other youth ask themselves “where’s the spotlight, where’s the energy, where’s the excitement, where’s the life.”
Tagoona, who tries to create music and workshops which people will think about afterwards and help them “ignore all the negative B.S,” hopes other youth will be motivated to find their own outlets of expression.
That’s why a part of his workshop, which includes tips and tricks about hip-hop, also talks about overall creativity.
“I’m not saying you have to do this, obviously it’s just giving example,” Tagoona said.
In terms of suicide prevention, Tagoona’s advice is simple: “work with yourself, view your life, look at the dynamics of your creativity.”
Instead of being locked-down in anxiety, youth need to pay attention to how they feel, Tagoona said.
“Sometimes you just don’t need to care, and you just need to work on yourself.”
Tagoona’s Sept. 8 performance at Iqaluit’s francophone association centre will involve some new songs in English and Inuktitut.
Tagoona said he hopes members of Iqaluit’s hip-hop crew will come up and dance again with him.
But his shows aren’t just for the audience — the performances are self-satisfying as well.
“It’s for me, I’m doing my own social work, [as a] reminder that there’s always a new direction, there’s always a new way,” he said.
The songs tend to have uplifting lyrics, said Tagoona who wrote many of his songs while thinking about his past, including the lyrics, “for you, there’s a way through, lift your way through, you can pull through I believe in you, my friend.”
Tagoona’s Sept. 8 free concert is at 7 p.m., at the francophone centre.
The workshop also takes place there that afternoon from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.
Tagoona is scheduled to put on another concert at the barbeque at Sylvia Grinnell Park between 12 p.m. and 4 p.m. on Sept. 9.
There will also be a candlelight vigil to remember lost loved ones and those affected by suicide in Iqaluit Square at 8 p.m. on Sept. 10.
For the full schedule of events for the weekend, click here.